2016 Parliamentary Elections

Pro-Russian party escapes ban, plans to run with “Stalinists”

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Photo: timer.ge

Leaders of Centrist party Temur Khachishvili and Vladimer Bedukadze will run for elections as members of Georgian Communist Party - Stalinists. Centrists, pro-Russian political party was banned from elections by Central Election Commission on August 16. The party became known to wider public after its campaign advert, pledging “legalizing” Russian military bases in Georgia, offering dual citizenship and Russian pensions.

Today, during the special briefing, Temur Khachishvili stated that Stalinists have same values and ideas.

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On August 16, The Central Election Commission revoked the electoral registration of Vladimer Bedukadze’s Centrists’ party. According to a statement issued by the Chairwoman of the Central Electoral Commision, Tamar Zhvania, the decision was made after the National Agency of Public Registry announced that the Centrists’ party has had no legal leadership since 2006.

Temur Khachishvili was Georgia’s Interior Minister from 1992 to 1993. He was also one of the leading figures of the notorious Mkhedrioni paramilitary group, which was disbanded in 1995 after it was blamed for a bomb attack against the then Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. Khachishvili was convicted in 1995 for organizing the attack, however he was later released in 2002 following a presidential pardon from Shevardnadze.  Khachishvili returned to Georgia after the Georgian Dream came to power in late 2012.

Vladimer Bedukadze was involved in leaking videos in September 2012 that showed guards torturing inmates in Georgian prisons; the videos caused major public anti-government protests in the month leading up to the October 2012 parliamentary elections. Reportedly Bedukadze’s was involved in recording the videos. An arrest warrant was issued for Bedukadze and he was detained upon arrival in Georgia in 2013; he was soon let go by the Prosecutor's Office when his case was settled by a plea bargain.

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